114 – Author Spotlight: Grady Hendrix

October 16, 2017 0

un_hendrixThe author of Horrorstör and My Best Friend’s Exorcism channels his encyclopedic knowledge with Paperbacks from Hell: A History of Horror Fiction from the ’70s and ’80s. He regales us with tales of horror from the publishing industry, Asian cinema, wild animal attacks, evil fetus leprechauns, The Great Stephen King Reread and too much more to mention. Do you dare press play?

Snowspelled by Stephanie Burgis

October 12, 2017 0

I am a fan of Stephanie Burgis’ work. Her middle grade novels starring the incorrigible Kat Stephenson are some of my favorites. I love the skillful way Burgis writes the whimsical Kat in a great historical setting. Burgis weaves history and fantasy together in all her works. I just read Burgis’ novella Snowspelled, and I am transported.

Snowspelled is the story of Cassandra Hargrove, an exceptional sorceress who has pushed herself too far, and must now face the consequences of her actions. The book is about Cassandra finding her new self, and her struggles in the face of that. True to perfectionist form, she isolates, breaking her relationship with the her fiance. The two are thrown together at a house party, and well, I can’t begin to describe the chemistry and witty banter between them. You can guess, however, that I came for the setting and I stayed for the relationship. Into this mix Cassandra and Wrexham encounter an elf-lord with an agenda against Angland, and Cassandra has to find the culprit causing an unnatural winter.

All of the characters are wonderfully realized. Cassandra is an easy character to identify with, flaws and all. Brother Jonathan and sister Amy show Cassandra an affection that help the readers extrapolate her less prickly dimensions. I won’t begin to praise Wrexham. We could be here a long time. Just…read the novella.  I read it in a day. That is testimony to its quality, not my speed.

What is best of all about this is that there will be more. I’ll be waiting, not so patiently, right over here.

112 – Reading Challenges

October 3, 2017 0

We check in for exciting news from former guest Debbie Goelz and her new audiobook, then find out about the upcoming project, The Post-Apocalyptic Tourist’s Guide. And on to our topic of the week!

Chia, George, Chris and Cath need your help! We kick off two reading challenges in the interest of expanding our literary boundaries. First, a Secret Santa challenge in which we each select a book for someone else to read. Second, we each pick a genre we’re unfamiliar with and ask you, fair readers, for recommendations. What is the book that will make Chris a fan of cozy mysteries? Which military hard sci-fi novel will make a convert of Chia? Who has a great historical or contemporary romance for George? (No Outlander or Jane Austen, please!) Finally, Cath needs a recommendation for a men’s action title. Send us your suggestions! You never know what a successful recommendation will yield…